Warming up for Wimbledon

  • Halle: Roger Federer
  • Queen’s Club: Andy Murray, Bob and Mike Bryan
  • Birmingham: Daniela Hantuchova

Roger Federer played only 11 tournaments over the past 10-months, and hadn’t won a title until Sunday in Halle. He defeated Mikhail Youzhny in the final 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 to win his 6th career title at the German tournament. It’s interesting to note – four of his Wimbledon crowns have come after winning this warm-up; no doubt, a confidence-boost for the defending-champ as he arrives in London pursuing #8. The Halle victory was Roger’s 77th career title, tying him with John McEnroe at 3rd on the all-time list. He took out his doubles partner, Tommy Haas, to reach the final.

Andy Murray missed Roland Garros to rest his back and prepare for the lawn at Wimbledon. After a 3-hour rain delay Sunday, he took the Queen’s Club title with a 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 win over Marin Cilic, though it appears he may have pulled his groin in the first set. We’ll see if that affects his play at the All England Club. Now with 27 career titles and a win over Roger Federer for Olympic Gold in London last year, this appears to be Andy’s best chance to date to hoist the elusive Wimbledon trophy.

Bob and Mike Bryan have won 18 consecutive matches. Coming off their 2nd French Open title, they won the doubles crown at the Queen’s Club, defeating Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares in the final 4-6, 7-5, 10-3. It’s their 90th career doubles title, and they’ve won 8-titles this year alone.

American Scott Lipsky teamed up with Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico to win the doubles title in Halle. They defeated Daniele Bracciali and Jonathan Erlich in the final 6-2, 7-6(3).

In Birmingham, veteran Daniela Hantuchova won her 6th career title over 16-year-old Donna Vekic 7-6(5), 6-4 in the Aegon Classic final. Daniela entered the tournament unseeded, but took out names like Laura Robson and Francesca Schiavone to make the final. A big congrats to American qualifier, Alison Riske, who made it to the semifinals before losing to Hantuchova. Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua won the doubles final over former world #1 Cara Black and Marina Erakovic 7-5, 6-4.

The ladies also played on clay last week in Nurnberg, where Romanian Simona Halep beat Andrea Petkovic 6-3, 6-3 for her first title. Despite the loss, things are looking up for Petkovic. After dealing with injury over the past few years, a final berth before a wildcard appearance at Wimbledon is certainly a confidence boost, even if on red-clay at home. In doubles, Raluca Olaru and Valeria Solovyeva defeated the top-seeds Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke to win their first title.

This week, the Wimbledon qualies are underway, with additional warm-up tournaments featuring both the guys and the ladies in Eastbourne (Roanic, Simon, Kohlschreiber, Radwanska, Stosur, Kirilenko) and ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Ferrer, Wawrinka, Isner, Vinci, Schiavone, Oudin). Wimbledon officially begins a week from today! #quietplease.